Lack of football in Namibia is totally unacceptable – CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe

CAF President Patrice Motsepe during the 2021 Press Conference in South Africa on 16 March 2021 ©BackpagePix

Dr. Patrice Motsepe, head of the Confederation of African Football, said the lack of football in Namibia was totally unacceptable and expressed hope that it would return soon.

Motsepe said it was vital to get football started in Namibia as soon as possible following the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) general session on Saturday at the Hilton Hotel in Windhoek, where Artur de Almeida e Silva from Angola was chosen as the new president.

“We had a really good meeting with the chairman of the normalisation committee, but I’m tired of these normalisation committees and I really hope that in the long term there should be no need for one. The critical issue is to get the message over of the urgency and the clear timelines in terms of making sure that football gets played in Namibia. It’s not only incomprehensible, it’s totally unacceptable that for three years there has been no domestic football in Namibia,” he said.

“In terms of our plans we really want football to be played here by August or September and that’s why I put a lot of emphasis on the need for unity, but also not to allow personal interests to subjugate the common interests of the people of Namibia who love football,” he added.

Motsepe stated that personality conflicts should not interfere with the interests of Namibia’s football fans who can’t wait for football in Namibia to start so they can support their teams.

“They were explaining to me that there are problems of personalities, but we should interact with all constituencies with a clear understanding to ensure that football at the domestic level in Namibia starts as quickly as possible, and that the interests of our people in relation to football surpasses the individual aspirations and interests of each one of us,” he said.

“We are going to be judged by our track record and there has to be a discernible and quantifiable improvement in Namibia and Cosafa and throughout the whole continent. That has to translate into an improvement in the quality of football in its totality – the football that’s being played on the field, the referees, the match commissioners, the stadiums, as well as the investment in the youth,” he added.

Motsepe stated that CAF and Fifa will assist Namibia in resolving its concerns, but that Namibians should lead any conflict resolution efforts.

“I leave here very confident that we’ve set out a clear path, under the leadership of the normalisation committee, but also you’ve got to be very careful as CAF. We have to provide support, but we have to be led by our people on the ground because they know and understand the challenges and problems, and they know even better than we do how to solve those problems to make sure that football gets played in this football-loving country,”

“Veron (Mosengo-Omba, CAF secretary general) and CAF will be there to support them, and Fifa as well, to make sure that football gets played quite soon,” he concluded.

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